Happy New Year Chocolate Lovers!
Owning and operating a chocolate factory during this Christmas has been both rewarding and challenging. I loved every minute of it!
This festive period has allowed us to employ great young casuals and our sales have enabled us to reinvested in the business which helps get our products to new customers around Australia and overseas.
But... geez Christmas 2020 came all at once - in late December.
I've successfully managed bakery, retail & chocolate retail brands since 2004. Christmas is a huge sales period, it can make or break retail brands. we weathered this period with great teamwork, dedication and a LOT of early mornings!
Customers expect the very best experience and product for their hard earned 2020 money. They want the very best product they can find, a great purchasing experience and the expectation that their purchase will impress the socks off their chosen recipient.
Gifting means a great deal to many people. Successful retail brand managers know how important this is to get it right to ensure sales meet & exceed their targets.
My general rule is that Sales in Qtr 2 (Xmas) should always exceed Q4 (April-June) and Q3 Jan-March (combined). This is SO important to get right.
Corporate orders are bread and butter for gift orientated brands - they usually start pouring in as early as September and allow brands to really plan for raw materials, distribution, staff and Christmas packaging.
But 2020 was a little different for many retailers, including my little Brisbane chocolate factory.
In the last 2 weeks ie 12-24th - we took approx 840 hamper orders to be sent around the country: shipping chocolate around Australia has never been easy - hot weather, stressed couriers, regional locations, customers not in attendance - things can go wrong.. making products for our Christmas hampers and attaching Christmas branding is fun, exciting - it gives a lovely perspective to how the brand is going - but, getting our products to recipients in perfect condition across Australia is one thing that really keeps me up at night.
The huge distribution of hundreds' of hampers in late December was something new for us - we pulled it off, but a Christmas break was definitely needed for myself and team.
We're back with a soft opening January 4th-9th and then our full range will be back online and in the factory.
I hope everyone gets some time to reset after an unorthodox 2020 trading year - here's to a successful and less stressful 2021!
Cheers guys Ames xo